As a Dublin Court was refusing to grant a stay on the eviction order on the occupiers of Apollo House in Dublin, Workers Party representative Lily Kerr was one of a number of speakers addressing a solidarity protest outside Belfast City Hall.
The ‘Home Sweet Home’ group occupied Apollo House, a vacant building near Dublin city centre, last month and used it to provide accommodation and support services for a number of the city’s homeless people.
Speaking at the Belfast rally Lily Kerr said, ‘The occupation of Apollo House stands in the best traditions of the Irish Left.and of Housing Action Campaigns in Dublin, Cork and Northern Ireland in the 1960s’.
‘It is disgraceful that the Courts in Dublin are refusing to allow homeless people to remain in Apollo House until appropriate, satisfactory and dignified accommodation can be provided for them’, Lily said.
‘There is also a housing and a homeless crisis in Northern Ireland’, Lily said.
‘Levels of homelessness have remained at historically high levels in Northern Ireland since 2005/6 and it is a matter of public shame that in a period of a few weeks last year four people in Northern Ireland lost their lives sleeping on the streets’
‘ While empty barns and warehouses are being heated and profit made at the taxpayers expense people are left to sleep on the streets, in unsuitable accommodation and in hostels.
‘There is no profit to be made from homelessness. That’s why it is not a priority. That’s why it is not at the top of the agenda. That’s how capitalism works’, Lily said.